Department of Biology & Biochemistry

Medical and industrial biotechnology

The Medical and Industrial Biotechnology Theme studies protein-ligand interactions in the broadest sense. Our research focuses on a fundamental understanding of the molecular processes of life, especially those involved in health and disease, and the application of this knowledge to metabolic engineering and industrial biotechnology.

The Theme's interests range from extremophile enzyme stability, catalysis, metabolism, bioreactors and protein structural disorder, to the elemental processes involved in inflammation, infection and immunity, cell signalling, membrane trafficking and neurodegenerative diseases.

Expertise in the Theme encompasses molecular biology, enzymology, metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance, isothermal calorimetry, and structure-based drug design.

The Molecular Structure and Function Research Theme has strong links with other Departments within the University, including Physics, Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and also enjoys considerable industrial collaborations.

Structure of the catalytic core of an archaeal multienzyme complex

Research areas

  • Enzyme stability, catalysis and metabolism (CP, MD, DL and SC)
  • Protein structure (RA, JvdE, SB and HC)
  • Protein structure disorder (CP and SB)
  • Inflammation (RA)
  • Infection and Immunity (JvdE and SB)
  • Diagnostics and vaccine development (JvdE)
  • Cell signalling (JL)
  • Membrane trafficking (PW and GH)
  • Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology (DL, MD and RS)
  • Neuro degenerative diseases (DB)
  • Algal photo-bioreactors (RS)
  • DNA repair (MH)


There are opportunities for postgraduate research throughout our group. Interested students are encouraged to contact academic staff directly or check our PhD projects. For more general information on postgraduate study, please visit the Faculty of Science Graduate School.